If the Miami Dolphins were watching the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in preparation for their matchup in Week 7, they likely noticed the Cincinnati Bengals having a great deal of success running screen plays to the perimeter of Mike Pettine's aggressive, blitz-happy defense.
Cincinnati knew they wanted to get the ball out of Andy Dalton's hands quickly in order to minimize both the effectiveness and the thoughtfulness of Pettine's blitzes. The end results were great for the Bengals, who rattled off huge chunks of yardage on those plays all day for a variety of reasons.
Two specific types of screens caught our attention: receiver screens that capitalized on misdirection (something Buffalo's defense has struggled with for years), and a swing pass to running back Giovani Bernard that the Bills somehow couldn't cover up throughout the game.
Stills 1-6 in the gallery above look at Bernard's play calls, which involved him running to the right on a swing pass. Those plays isolated middle linebacker Kiko Alonso, whose above-average range was no match for the ultra-quick Bernard. Even after seeing that play run successfully against them twice in regulation, the Bills again let Bernard slip into the flat and pick up 23 yards in overtime; luckily, the play didn't set up a game-winning score for the road team.
Stills 7-14, meanwhile, focus on a variety of receiver screens. One was run off of a read-option wrinkle that moved defenders out of the picture, and two were run against Bills blitzes, which caught the home team off guard.
It's all in the gallery above. You can bet that we'll see Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill dial up some of these same looks next Sunday in Miami, with players like the electrifying Mike Wallace targeted on those plays.